For the second time in five years, the Rockmart High School football team fell in the AA state football championship game.

On Tuesday Pierce County quarterback Caden McGatha scored on a 1-yard run in the third overtime after holding the Yellow Jackets to a field goal.

The run was McGatha’s 53rd carry, 244th rushing yard and fourth touchdown of the game. He also passed for 131 yards and two touchdowns and ran or passed on 61 of Pierce County’s 64 plays. 

Carson Sloan ran the other three plays for 10 yards and a touchdown, had three receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns and led the Bears’ defense with eight solo tackles and 3.5 sacks for 30 yards in losses.

Neither team led by more than seven points, and each of the game’s 13 touchdowns tied the game or put one team ahead.

Rockmart’s biggest misgiving was the failure to score after having a first-and-goal from the 7 with 4:05 left in the third quarter after Tristan Anderson’s 42-yard punt return and a Pierce County personal-foul penalty. But on second down from the 3, a bad snap resulted in a lost fumble 29 yards behind the line. Pierce County also blocked Rockmart’s 49-yard field goal attempt on the final play of regulation.


First Downs************************ 20*********15

Rushes/Yards (Net)****************34/113**** 56/254

Pass /A/I******************8*****16/24/0******5/8/0

Passing Yards (Net)****************208********131

Total Offense**********************321 *******385

Fumbles/Lost********************** 1/1 *******0/0

Penalties/Yards *******************6/50 ******7/68

Time of Possession ***************20:233*05**27:37

Sacks By: No./Yards*************** 0/0********6/4